Sunday, 5 February, 2023

Int’l passengers no longer need to submit vaccine proof in India

Int’l passengers no longer need to submit vaccine proof in India

New Delhi: The government on Monday decided to discontinue the requirement for people arriving from abroad to fill the Air Suvidha form, a decision in which it also did away with the need for people to produce Covid-19 vaccination certificates, reports Hindustan Times.

The new guidelines will be effective from November 22, according to a notification issued by the Union health ministry, which said that it will encourage people travelling to India to be fully vaccinated for the coronavirus, but a certificate will not be mandatory as it had been till now.     “All travellers should preferably be fully vaccinated as per the approved primary schedule of vaccination against COVID-19 in their country,” said the revised guidelines.

People vaccinated in most parts of the world– 145 countries, according to the latest update on November 16 – were eligible to show their vaccination certificates that were recognised by India. People from nations other than those in the list of 145 would be required to present a negative Covid-19 test (RT-PCR) report.

The Air Suvidha portal was launched in August 2020 as a crucial tool to trace Covid-19 infections brought in and caused by people arriving from overseas. The website would seek details such as that of vaccination or RT-PCR test, origin and destination cities, flight number and contact information.

“The revised guidelines are issued after reviewing the Covid-19 situation in India and globally and since there is a downwards trajectory of new cases and deaths, it was deemed fit to relax the norms,” said a senior central government official, asking not to be named.

Symptomatic passengers, however, will be isolated.

“Any passenger having symptoms of Covid-19 during travel shall be isolated as per standard protocol i.e. the said passenger should be wearing mask, isolated and segregated from other passengers in flight/travel and shifted to an isolation facility subsequently for follow up treatment.”

In-flight announcement about the need to take precautions for Covid-19 will continue and people will be advised to wear masks and maintain adequate distance from each other.

The guidelines say people should continue to monitor their health after arrival and report to their nearest health facility and call the national (1075) or state helpline numbers if they show any Covid-19 symptoms.

Experts said that revision in the rules was right step and an important signal of life returning to normal. “This is effective both from the psychological point of view and also health care point of view that we are encouraging return of normalcy after more than two years of dealing with the pandemic,” said Dr Anupam Sibal, group medical director, Apollo Hospitals.